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Vagabond Theater Ensemble Presents THE WENDIGO 2/6

Four hunters, lost in the Canadian woods, begin losing their minds and battling a gigantic, unseen creature in this adaptation of Algernon Blackwood's classic tale of supernatural horror.

One of Blackwood's best stories is the magnificent THE WENDIGO, written in 1908. On the surface, this is a classic story of man versus nature but on a spiritual level the story forces us to question our position and purpose in the universe, to wonder if perhaps there are some places, as the narrator says, that "no human foot was meant to trod."

In this adaptation of THE WENDIGO, playwright Eric Sanders has tried to preserve the almost unbearably tense atmosphere of Blackwood's story while injecting moments of stark and visceral terror. Sanders, along with director Matthew Hancock plan to create a world that envelops the audience so deeply that they almost feel the snow on their shoulders. Just as important as the surroundings, the show focuses on the five men trapped within this nightmare; for this is a moving story about people, shattered beyond belief by what they have experienced, trying to put their lives back together and move on.

THE WENDIGO features Erik Gratton*, Nick Merritt, Graham Outerbridge*, and Kurt Uy*.

The creative team for THE WENDIGO includes MuTTT Huang (Sound Design), Candice Thompson (Costume Design), and Amber Wilkerson (Stage Manager).

The production, produced by Vagabond Theatre Ensemble, will play 16 performances at the Medicine Show Theatre at the Ensemble Studio Theater Building (549 West 52nd Street, 3rd Floor) February 5-28, Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday matinees February 8 & 22 at 3pm with special performances Monday, February 9 & Wednesday, February 25 at 8pm. Tickets ($10) are available online at www.SmartTix.com or by calling 212-868-4444.

Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) was one of the most influential and mysterious writers of the twentieth century. His works have had a profound impact on everyone from Stephen King to comic books to M. Night Shyamalan and The Blair Witch Project, but his name has been lost to the annals of history. Blackwood's prime interests were human psychology, the mystical and the supernatural. He explored in profound detail the effects that both real and 'perceived' extraordinary events have on the frail human psyche. A deeply spiritual man who rejected the simplicity of Christianity at an early age, Blackwood sought to evoke "spiritual terror" through his stories, to strike at the very core of what makes us human: how we define our universe and our place within it. He sought to terrify, but even more expressly, he sought to astound. The sensation of awe factors heavily throughout his life's work; he viewed the world through a lens of astonishing innocence and objectivity, often personifying places and supernatural phenomena just as vividly as his human characters.

According to fellow horror legend H.P. Lovecraft, Blackwood reigns supreme as "the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere."
Eric Sanders (Playwright) Creator and Producer of Dread Awakening (45th Street Theatre), f**kplays (Ohio Theatre/Galapagos Art Space), and Dewey's Nightmare (Gene Frankel Theatre). He is the author of the plays Ixomia (dir. Stephen Brackett) at the 2007 Crown Point Festival, Oceanside Parkway (dir. Steven Gillenwater) at the American Place Theatre, Faint (dir. Eric Sanders) at the NYC Fringe Festival, It's a Dry Heat (dir. Isaac Butler and Jeremy Dobrish) readings presented at Playwrights Horizons by Studio 42 and at the 45th Street Theatre, The Hillside (dirs. Daniel Kutner and Jeremy Dobrish) readings presented at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and at Primary Stages, Oblivia (dir. Pat Diamond) at Jimmy's No. 43, the Connelly Theatre, and the Sam French Festival, 1.1-1.7 (dir. Stephen Brackett) at the Ohio Theatre and Galapagos Art Space, The Underground Ocean (dir. Matthew Hancock) with Vampire Cowboys, Hollow Hallow (dir. Jake Witlen) at the Brick Theater, Sleep Mask (dir. Amanda Charlton) at the 45th Street Theatre, Lords of Chaos (dir. Julie Rossman) with Working Man's Clothes, Mangina (dir. Kerry Whigham) at the Gene Frankel Theatre, Fake Empire (dir. Heath Cullens) at the Ohio Theatre, Candle Party/Knife Party (dir. Max Montel) at the Wings Theatre, Skin Maps (dir. Ara Beal) with Cardboard Box Collaborative, The Baby Gap (dir. Mike Batistick) with adobe theatre company, and Dakota, Relapsing Briefly, Clancy & Yvonna, and diet (all dir. Eric Sanders) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival Workshop.

Eric spent two summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as a Directing Intern in 2002 and as a member of the Act One Company in 2001. He studied acting with legendary teacher Wynn Handman, as well as at the Stella Adler Conservatory at NYU. Associate Producer: Hostage Song at the Kraine Theatre, Xanadu on Broadway. Upcoming: Heartless (dir. Pat Diamond) with Working Man's Clothes. www.funintrouble.com.

Matthew Hancock (Director) Credits include Dracula (Urban Stages), the North American premiere of Kobo Abe's The Green Stockings with Flesh and Bone Productions, Teddy Stevie's Chrome Warrior (Chashama), Patrick Marber's Dealer's Choice, Eric Sanders' The Underground Ocean, Kyle Jarrow's The Saddest Thing in The History of The World, Laura Eason's Dynamometer, Conor McPherson's The Good Thief, Ibsen's When We DEAD Wake, and Neal Bell's Two Small Bodies at Williamstown. He wrote and directed Tango 'Til They're Sore at The Zephyr. He is the author and director of numerous original adaptations including Strindberg's Miss Julie, Don Delillo's The Body Artist (novella), and Haruki Mukakami's Window (short story), as well as the author of a new book for Carrie: The Musical and A Clockwork Orange. In 2005 Matthew had the honor and pleasure of assistant directing Sweet Bird of Youth directed by the late great David Jones. Matthew is currently editing the premiere episode of the web series "The Monsterstompers", which he co-wrote and directed.
The Vagabond Theatre Ensemble A vagabond is a wanderer, an individual who leads an unsettled and carefree life, lacking a permanent home. Players from all eras have supported themselves by wandering, seeking an audience wherever it may be found. We too are wandering through our careers, proudly wearing the title of artist. We intend to experience the world to its fullest and honor it in our creations, moving as gypsies through our careers and our lives. And so we gather as a troupe of vagabonds to create an ever-growing, ever-changing home of our own, wherever that home may find us. Our mission is to establish a community of artists and storytellers in order to stretch our artistic boundaries and imaginations. We encourage unique and daring explorations of our humanity and are committed to producing work that traverses the theatrical spectrum, theatre that is limitless in artistic scope and possibility. We strive to create topical and inspiring pieces to establish a dialogue between ourselves and our audience.

Vagabond was founded in September 2007. Since then they have produced The Wendy Complex (Access Gallery, April 2008 & The 9th Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival), Speaking Boheme (associate producer, May 2008), and Endoftheworld Lovesong (associate producer with The Flea Theater, September 2008).


www.TheVagabondTheatreEnsemble.com

 

 


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